Unfortunately, few things in life are ‘set it and forget it,’ including WordPress. Like a car, if you don’t maintain your WordPress site and keep it in tip-top condition, it will start to perform poorly. You may now be wondering how you do maintenance on WordPress? Of course, you could do it yourself, but as with cars, many people prefer to let someone else do the dirty work for them. Enter the WordPress maintenance service!
What Do WordPress Maintenance and Support Services Do and Why Do I Need to Use One?
As the name suggests, WordPress maintenance services undertake routine maintenance tasks on your behalf to help keep your site running as smoothly and securely as possible. If you were to do the tasks yourself, you would likely be doing many of them on a monthly, weekly, or possibly even daily basis. And if you are as undiligent as me, chances are, most maintenance tasks will never get done unless something goes wrong.
The basic maintenance tasks that most WordPress Maintenance services cover include:
- Regular site backups, usually off-site in a cloud
- Updating the WordPress core to the latest version
- Plugin updates
- Theme updates
- Clearing the cache
- Database and performance optimization
- Malware removal
- Security updates
Of course, the above list isn’t exhaustive, and there are plenty of other smaller items that need attending to from time to time, such as deleting spam comments, repairing links that have become broken, etc. Furthermore, keep in mind that, depending on the plan you purchase, some of those smaller items may be covered by WordPress maintenances services, while others won’t.
WordPress support services cover more ad hoc events that you cannot fix yourself, such as damage to your website after being hacked or updated. Depending on the fix required, charges could be one-off or on a time-charge basis.
The Best WordPress Maintenance and Support Services Currently Available
The actual tasks covered by a maintenance service will vary depending on the provider and plan you choose. It, therefore, pays to do some research before settling on a particular service, just to ensure that it covers what you want it to. However, to help you choose, I’ll now summarize some of the best WordPress maintenance and support services currently available.
WPBuffs have only been on the scene since 2015, but since then, they have established themselves as one of the industry leaders in WordPress maintenance services. They offer three core packages: Maintain, which covers just the essential services only; Protect includes edits to existing content, plugin settings, or CSS adjusting, which can be an absolute time-saver; and Perform that offers full optimization (speed, performance, and security) and is a good choice for eCommerce sites where speed and security are vital,
All plans include the following key features:
- 24/7 uptime monitoring and emergency support
- Weekly core, theme, and plugin updates
- One cloud backup per day
- Google Analytics integration
- Weekly reports
Depending on which of the higher-priced plans you choose, the features list extends to include:
- Additional daily cloud backups
- Security optimization (protects your site against cyber attacks, malware, etc.)
- iThemes Security Pro Premium plugin for added security
- 24/7 unlimited website edits (limited to existing content, plugin settings, or CSS adjustments)
- Optimizations for speed, mobile, and tablet, images and media
- Malware removal
- Support for eCommerce and membership sites
Price-wise, here are the costs for each plan:
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- Maintain: $792 per year / $79 per month
- Protect: $1,596 per year / $159 per month
- Perform: $2,196 per year / $219 per month
A couple of other plans geared towards custom-coded websites are available, but those are understandably much more expensive. Also available are white label plans for developers wanting to offer the WPBuffs’ plans to their clients but with their own branding.
WPBuffs is undoubtedly a solid option for ensuring your WordPress site is regularly and properly maintained.
I’m finishing this list with a company that only does one-off tasks such as emergency fixes and development projects. Codeable operates similarly to ‘freelancer-for-hire’ marketplaces, where you post the specifics of the job you need doing, and Codeable matches you with suitable candidates. You then hire the one you feel is best for your project.
However, Codeable differs from other freelancer marketplaces such as People Per Hour or Upwork in that they retain a relatively small number of carefully vetted specialists rather than throwing the doors open to anyone. That assures you get someone capable of successfully completing your task, and you won’t get inundated with folk claiming to be specialists but don’t know one end of a pencil from the other.
To prevent undercutting and ensure its customers get the best service at a sensible price, Codeable uses a single-price algorithm with a standard hourly rate of between $70 and $120 per hour. Of course, the actual price you pay depends entirely on the task you want them to perform. However, here are examples of what you typically might pay:
- Non-urgent development of a simple custom plugin – from $960
- Non-urgent simple speed and security optimization – from $420
- Design and development of a website of average complexity – from $7,080
- Urgent design and development of a complex eCommerce website – from $15,900
Those prices might look scary on paper, but in all honesty, if you were to try and employ someone to do it cheaper, you could end up paying much more in fixes later. What’s more, pricing is agreed on upfront, so you have no surprises later, and a moneyback guarantee covers you if you don’t get what was agreed on with the specialist.
As well as software development, you can, of course, employ Codeable’s specialists to do things like WordPress maintenance and bug fixing services – pretty much anything, really. They are worth checking out if you need jobs done professionally but don’t have the knowledge or experience to do them yourself.
I’m throwing a bit of a curve ball with this one, as GoWP is actually a white label maintenance service aimed at freelancers and agencies. However, I know plenty of those who read WPLift, so I thought it would be worthwhile including it.
The concept behind white labeling is simple. You partner with GoWP and then resell their support services using your own branding. So, for example, if you have created a website for someone, you can sell them one of GoWP’s maintenance packages, but as far as your client is concerned, it will appear that your own in-house team undertakes the work.
One of the greatest things about GoWP is the pricing. For just $29 per month, their maintenance plan includes:
- Updates with Visual Validator (ensures updates won’t harm your site)
- Daily security scans and malware cleanup
- Daily backups stored off-site for 90 days
- Maintenance dashboard plugin
Sure, it has a fairly basic range of features, but it offers excellent value nonetheless, and it may well be sufficient for many site owners’ needs, particularly smaller ones.
GoWP also offers a range of other outsourced services, such as blogging, content editing, and landing page building, plus they can supply dedicated copywriters, project managers, developers, and designers, all at very reasonable rates. Those are worth considering if you are planning on developing a website, plugin, or theme but haven’t a clue where to start.
As an individual user, you might find some of the other WordPress maintenance services I have listed offer more features. However, if you are looking to expand your own WordPress agency but funds are limited, GoWP is an excellent way of giving your clients top-notch support at a sensible price.
Like WPBuffs, SiteCare is another well-established and respected name in the world of WordPress maintenance plans, plus they also offer other services such as digital marketing and coaching. They offer four maintenance plans: Standard, Plus, Pro, and Premier. All plans include the following core features:
- Daily backups
- Core and plugin updates
- Audit logging
- Spam comment filtering
- Dedicated account manager and 15 minutes of rapid resolution assistance
- Site restore
The higher-priced plans add additional features. Depending on the plan chosen, these can include things like:
- Version control
- Quality assurance, page speed, and mobile testing
- eCommerce support
- Maintenance (two hours of developer time per month, with any unused time rolled over to the next month)
- Site coaching
Plans are priced as follows:
- Standard – $990 per year (no monthly option available)
- Plus – $2,990 per year / $299 per month
- Pro – $4,990 / $499 per month
- Premier – $12,000 / $1,200 per month
All plans come with a 30-day moneyback guarantee, so you can basically try it for free for a month if you wish. Furthermore, SiteCare can also fix your site for a one-time fee if your site gets hacked.
Valet has been offering WordPress maintenances services for over ten years now, and during that time, it has established an excellent reputation for providing a quality service.
One nice feature that Valet does is pre-test all updates in a staging environment before they are set live on your site. That can significantly reduce the risk of problems that can sometimes arise when installing updates. Other features of Valet’s maintenance plan, which costs $89 a month, includes:
- Off-site backups
- Daily scans for malware
- Vulnerability database scans
- Visual regression testing
- WordPress core, plugin, and theme updates
Valet also offers other services, including eCommerce website testing, professional support and development, audits, assessment, and accessibility checks.
WP Tech Support
WP Tech Support offers a range of services, including one-time fixes, development, and, of course, WordPress website maintenance. Concerning the latter, four plans are available: Standard, Pro, Business, and Advanced. The features included in Standard – which is, as you might expect, the cheapest option – are nonetheless impressive and include:
- Daily secure off-site backups
- Monthly core and plugin updates
- 24/7 uptime monitoring
- Daily malware scans
- Up to three bug fixes per month
- Website health audit upon subscribing
- 24/7ticket support
- Monthly reports
- Site Security WAF
That’s an impressive feature list for $55 per month, and it will probably be ample for most of the more straightforward websites out there.
If you need more advanced features, you will need to upgrade to a more expensive plan. Those include all features of Standard, and depending on the plan chosen, may also consist of the following extras:
- Unlimited bug fixes
- Theme and PHP updates as required
- Malware removal
- Site speed optimization
- Technical SEO optimization
- Access to the development team for changes and improvements (up to three hours per month depending on plan)
- Cover for eCommerce, LMS, or membership websites (Advanced plan only)
Prices for each plan are as follows:
- Standard: $55 per month
- Pro: $75 per month
- Business: $99 per month
- Advanced: $175 per month
Please note that the monthly prices are subject to a minimum term of six months.
If you happen to be a freelancer or agency, it is worth noting that WP Tech Support also offers white label solutions.
Maintainn is another established name in WordPress maintenance services, created in 2012 by WebDevStudios, who have helped big corporates such as Skype, Starbucks, Microsoft, NBC News, and Uber. They offer three plans, namely Standard, Professional, and Enterprise. As always, the cheapest plan, Standard, is a little limited on features but may be adequate for small, simple sites. That plan gives you:
- Weekly updates
- 24/7 security monitoring
- Daily off-site backups
- Weekly reports
- Live chat and technical support
Maintainn also offers a hacked website repair service under this plan for $99 per incident.
Things get more interesting with the Professional and Enterprise plans, which include (depending on the plan purchased) goodies like:
- Free hacked website repairs
- More frequent off-site backups (6 or 12 hours depending on plan)
- Uptime monitoring
- Performance check
- Support for eCommerce websites
- Dedicated project manager
- Discount on the cost of support hours
- Project Workspace (Enterprise plan only)
- Version Control (Enterprise plan only)
- Staging Updates (Enterprise plan only)
- Client Review Cycle (Enterprise plan only)
As you may expect, the Enterprise plan caters more to agencies and freelance developers.
The prices of each Maintainn plan are as follows:
- Standard – $588 per year / $59 per month
- Professional – $1,788 per year / $179 per month
- Enterprise – $2,988 per year / $299 per month
Maintainn is an excellent option for handling your WordPress maintenance, particularly given the hacked website repairs included in the Professional and Enterprise plans could well make the extra cost of those plans worthwhile.
FixRunner offers very similar services to Maintainn, although the higher paid plans are cheaper than those of Maintainn, and all plans include support time. Furthermore, they have separate pricing for small websites and big sites/enterprises, so finding a package catering to the needs of your business should be pretty straightforward.
Three plans are available, Premium, Rocket, and Advance. All have the following core features:
- 90 minutes support time per month
- Detailed notes on every task fixed
- Email and chat support
- Daily cloud backups
- Speed optimization
- WordPress core, plugin, and theme updates
- Uptime monitoring
- Security scans
If you have funds available to invest in either the Rocket or Advance plan, you will get some or all the following extra features, too, depending on which you opt for:
- Additional support time per month
- eCommerce support
- On-page SEO
- Faster support response time
- Phone support and a dedicated account manager (Advance only)
FixRunner’s pricing structure for their small business plans is as follows:
- Premium – $588 per year / $177 per quarter / $69 per month
- Rocket – $948 per year / $267 per quarter / $99 per month
- Advance – $1,548 per year / $447 per quarter / $179 per month
Please note that the minimum commitment is three months. Furthermore, all plans come with a 30-day moneyback guarantee. Of course, the packages for big sites/enterprises are understandably more expensive, but they do include lots more support hours.
The nice thing about FixRunner is they are very upfront about their response times. They promise to attend to all urgent support tickets immediately, and for non-urgent requests, they will confirm the estimated time, which will be no more than 24 hours. Support is available 24/7, although, at weekends, emergency requests will be dealt with immediately, while non-urgent tasks wait until the following Monday morning.
What’s Your Favorite WordPress Maintenance Service?
Maintaining your WordPress site is a necessary evil, and while many people choose to do it themselves, they invariably don’t do a thorough job. Therefore, if you have some budget to spare, engaging the services of a WordPress maintenance service to undertake routine and even ad hoc tasks can save considerable time, plus their expertise can help solve issues beyond the scope of many website owners.
Are you already using a WordPress maintenance service? If so, which one, and what have your experiences been with it? And have you used any external services to do bug fixes or repair your hacked site? I’d love to hear about your experiences.